Facebook Accidentally Removes Swedish Breast Cancer Awareness Video

Oct 20, 2016

Facebook says it accidentally removed a video about breast cancer awareness posted by the Swedish Cancer Society this week.

"We're very sorry, our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ads," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

Sweden's Cancerfonden said earlier Thursday it was disappointed that the social network deemed its video, which featured images of animated women with circle-shaped breasts, “offensive.”

Cancerfonden told TIME it received a message saying their ad violated Facebook's Advertising Policies. “Your ad can not market sex products or services nor adults products or services,” the message said, according to Cancerfonden. The cancer group said it tried to contact Facebook to appeal the decision to remove its video, but had not heard back from the company.

While the organization was waiting to hear back from Facebook, it posted an open letter to Facebook on Thursday that included an image of two pink squares meant to represent breasts. " We understand that you have to have rules about the content published on your platform. But you also must understand that one of our main tasks is to disseminate important information about cancer - in this case breast cancer," the letter said. The group added that its pink squares " can not possibly offend you, or anyone. Now we can continue to spread our important breast school without upsetting you."

Once Facebook realized its mistake, it approved the video ads. Facebook came under fire last month when it removed the iconic photo of a young girl running from napalm bombs during the Vietnam War. Although the social network initially defended its decision, it later re-published the photo, saying the “history and global importance” of the image outweighed other considerations.

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